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PETA Abandons $1 Million Prize For Artificial Chicken

Unknown Lamer posted about 8 months ago | from the peta-decides-eating-people-is-fine dept.

Biotech 191

sciencehabit writes "Don't expect an artificial chicken in every pot anytime soon. Since 2008, the animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has offered $1 million to anyone able to create a commercially viable artificial meat from growing chicken cells. But although scientists are making progress toward artificial hamburgers, even a 2-year extension from the original deadline of 2012 wasn't enough to lure applicants for PETA's prize."

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Why didn't they leave it in place? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46394631)

They said it didn't lure applicants? If I was working on artificial chicken meat, I wouldn't phone them up and tell them until I had it working. Why give your business plan away to rivals? They should have left it in place.

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (2, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | about 8 months ago | (#46394699)

What I'd like to know is, why does PETA hate chickens so much? You don't have to be a genius to foresee what will happen to the chicken species if we abandon them as a food source.

That said, being able to grow slabs of chicken breast in a nutrient bath at home would be pretty sweet, if it could be done.

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46394765)

PETA has this crazed idea that animals are better off dead than owned even if they have absolutly no chance of surviving wild. So that would be perfectly in character for them actually.

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#46394789)

PETA has this crazed idea that animals are better off dead than owned even if they have absolutly no chance of surviving wild. So that would be perfectly in character for them actually.

I think that is a misrepresentation - they would rather them not being born than being owned, though they go through hoops to define pets as companions rather than being owned.

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (4, Informative)

KiloByte (825081) | about 8 months ago | (#46394861)

No, otherwise they wouldn't go on massive slaughter-fests [petakillsanimals.com] . An animal PETA gets its hands on has an 84% chance of getting murdered within 24 hours.

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (3, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#46394931)

No, otherwise they wouldn't go on massive slaughter-fests [petakillsanimals.com] . An animal PETA gets its hands on has an 84% chance of getting murdered within 24 hours.

To be fair to them they don't like it [peta.org] and only do it so that they can accept animals rejected by other shelters. I have mixed feelings on this, on one hand I think they should turn more away - but on the other hand if the alternative is the animals being dumped by the roadside or worse then maybe accepting and euthenising is best

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 8 months ago | (#46395437)

I am sorry, I need a source other than PETA to believe that they don't like it. They provide no evidence that their claim is true. This is an organization which has been shown in the past to be willing to distort the facts in order to promote its agenda. It is also an organization that opposes the very concept of pets. So, to put it bluntly, I do NOT believe them. Since PETA believes that dogs and cats SHOULD be allowed to run feral (and only as many survive as manage to do so without human intervention), I believe they take these animals in with the intention of killing them since these animals apparently cannot survive in the wild without human intervention (the reason they are brought to the shelter in the first place).

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#46395467)

I am sorry, I need a source other than PETA to believe that they don't like it. They provide no evidence that their claim is true.

You have a strange argument here. Its akin to saying that someone wanting to promote healthy living liked unfit people dying of heart attacks. Granted they are odd an extreme, but to say that they like killing animals - despite them saying the opposite - seems unjustified.

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46395567)

Actions speak louder than words. You may be a gullible moron that believes whatever someone tells you, but not everyone else is so obtuse. PETA has proven themselves to be a bunch of liars, and they kill animals daily. It's not really hard to figure out.

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 8 months ago | (#46395607)

I am not saying that they "like" killing animals. I am saying that they prefer killing animals to allowing those animals to be adopted as someone's pet. PETA has given me reason to think that they believe it is better for those animals to die than for them to live as someone's pet.

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46395601)

They don't like it? Well that just changes everything!

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 8 months ago | (#46395723)

A lot of my dislike of PETA is based on my impression that they're doing it more for attention than genuine concern for animals. The euthanizing seems to fit with that, killing animals that aren't attractive to make room for new animals which might gain sympathy. Much like I assume they do with attractive celebrity spokespeople who have gone past their prime. Another reason I dislike them is that they seem theistic in their defense of animals. Wanting to end all animal testing (which I assume they still do) to me doesn't sound like a reasoned position, it sounds like they don't care to consider that will completely stop medical progress for people.

That they actually have reservations about it suggests it's actually more about the animals, that they're doing something they hate because they realize they need to.

Or it's just PR for a well-mocked hypocrisy. I don't know. Just I'm less sure it's 100% about providing attention for starlets and socialites.

It gets worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46395629)

Anybody that is on the fense about PETA needs to watch this [youtube.com] . I'll rattle off a few points off the top of my head:

  1. They oppose animal testing, but one of their C-men has had life saving surgery that involved an animal implant.
  2. They oppose killing animals, yet have euthanized more animals than they have saved.
  3. They believe animals should be given equal rights to humans. That's right, they're not pets, they're not companions, they're citizens. Lets give Fido a drivers license and send him off to prom.
  4. As a public organization, you can look at their purchases in depth. What use could they possibly have for a full-size walk-in meat freezer? Do they honestly need that much ice cream? The only real use is, of course, for storage of meat, or the freezing of animals. Ethical my ass.

There are a lot of good points in that show. I'd wager that the reason nobody took PETA up on the offer of $1 million is because nobody in their right mind would want to be associated with such an organization.

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 8 months ago | (#46395557)

Not defending them, but it's not murder unless they're killing humans. "Slaughtered" would be a better word to use.

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (3, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#46394775)

But who wants to eat some phony lab meat when they could be eating some tasty good healthy sea kittens!

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46394887)

PETA appears to be against the mass exploitation of chickens. If 10bn chickens are killed annually for meat, and that reduces to 10m, they will have succeeded ... but the chicken would be far from extinct. Commercial chicken production could even stop completely, but people in rural areas would still keep chickens, as they have done for hundreds of years, for their eggs if nothing else (remember that dual-use nature of the chicken?) Chicken manure is also quite the asset if you're living rurally. And then you can sell the carcass to stupid town-dwellers who are prepared to pay high prices for the "real chicken" their parents used to talk about.

The chicken isn't going to go extinct just because we stop exploiting it for meat on a mass scale. Stop pretending that complex bio-economic systems work in binary. The choice is not "continue to exploit animals in their billions" vs "watch them go extinct", and only a fool would claim that it was. I mean, I fucking hate PETA, but I hate binary thinking more (and I use the term "thinking" reservedly). As for the idea that mass production of chickens has some kind of advantage in terms of bio-diversity - it's complete and utter propagandist nonsense, although I guess it kind of works if you close your eyes and ignore the species that already went extinct so we can have enough land to grow enough corn to feed 10 billion identical fucking chickens.

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 8 months ago | (#46395339)

PETA appears to be against the mass exploitation of chickens. If 10bn chickens are killed annually for meat, and that reduces to 10m, they will have succeeded ... but the chicken would be far from extinct. Commercial chicken production could even stop completely, but people in rural areas would still keep chickens, as they have done for hundreds of years, for their eggs if nothing else (remember that dual-use nature of the chicken?) Chicken manure is also quite the asset if you're living rurally. And then you can sell the carcass to stupid town-dwellers who are prepared to pay high prices for the "real chicken" their parents used to talk about.

The chicken isn't going to go extinct just because we stop exploiting it for meat on a mass scale. Stop pretending that complex bio-economic systems work in binary. The choice is not "continue to exploit animals in their billions" vs "watch them go extinct", and only a fool would claim that it was. I mean, I fucking hate PETA, but I hate binary thinking more (and I use the term "thinking" reservedly). As for the idea that mass production of chickens has some kind of advantage in terms of bio-diversity - it's complete and utter propagandist nonsense, although I guess it kind of works if you close your eyes and ignore the species that already went extinct so we can have enough land to grow enough corn to feed 10 billion identical fucking chickens.

What PETA is really against is humans. Otherwise they'd make themselves better informed about what the animals really want. If you believe PETA, all animals want to do is flee humans, and that's observably false. Even skunks have been known to move in next to human beings. Alaskan wolves show off their puppies to tourists, and don't even think of trying to do anything interesting around emperor penguins.

Case in point: veganism, which I'm pretty sure is almost(?) essential for PETA membership. Veganism is based on the concept that you don't use any animal product that exploits the animal. Which gives you the wierd situation where you're allowed to eat human placenta meat, but not eggs.

The problem is that many farm animals of today are mutants bred to interact with humans. Chickens will lay sterile eggs, regardless, but vegans will leave the eggs to rot. Cows will produce milk, but lacking someone to milk them, will be in pain. Sheep, unsheared will overheat.

I prefer to minimize the amount of animal pain and suffering I cause. Besides, if I eat too many of them, they'll get their revenge by raising my cholesterol. I'll pay more for uncaged chicken eggs and am hoping to see the day that bacon, burgers and jerky are something that can be rolled off a production line instead of forcibly removed from the carcasses of dead animals.

But I think I get more pain and suffering from having to drive into an office and work all day than a chicken does producing that one sterile egg, so I'm not feeling too bad about a free-roving chicken.

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (1)

Bruinwar (1034968) | about 8 months ago | (#46394943)

In warmer climates, they go feral. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org] Disclaimer: I love chickens! Specially off my grill in the summertime.

Re: Why didn't they leave it in place? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46395203)

There would only be contests and arguements over which growlights and nutrients to use, which species developed the largest and tastiest drumsticks and how to hide your growroom from hungry cops....

Quorn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46395529)

Quorn already is indistinguishable from chicken. Seriously try some, it's cheaper and you won't be able to tell the difference. Red meat is harder, but chicken they have down.

Re:Why didn't they leave it in place? (-1, Troll)

flyneye (84093) | about 8 months ago | (#46395187)

No, no they said it wouldnt app lubricants or lube apricots or something like that. Gotta clean these crusty glasses.
For my old friends at PETA though, I would like to submit this rubber chicken stuffed with shit for their culinary pleasure.
For all the hard work theyve done to make sure people think protecting animals is for nutballs.
For all the trying and continued failure to be effective and actually help animals instead of promoting themselves as failed attention whores.
For all the good times, I would be glad to ram the chickend ala poo down their throats and stomp the last bite in through their broken teeth.
Please folks, when you want to help animals, give to ANY other organization but PETA.
They are one of the biggest embarrasments to mankind since NAMBLA, Greenpeace , $cientology, or the DNC.

Re:Why didn't they leave it in place? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 8 months ago | (#46395661)

There is no way that artificial chicken meat, or other meat for that matter, will be inexpensive enough to displace the business of raising actual livestock. The research should be focused and funded by medical interests who would seek to grow human tissue. From there, methods can be derived and adapted to creating artificial meat. It makes no sense to attempt this PETAs way... not financially anyway.

Revolution in a year (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 8 months ago | (#46394645)

They've dangled a $1 million prize in front of everybody, with an impossible deadline, and when science actually does start coming close to earning it, they kill it.
That's chicken.

Re:Revolution in a year (2)

jrumney (197329) | about 8 months ago | (#46394727)

Science isn't close to making a competitive substitute for chicken. They've made a hamburger that cost over $500k, which isn't even close to competitive with Wagyu Beef in price, and judging from the response of those who ate it, barely competitive with a McDonalds ammonium-hydroxide patty in taste. Given that a typical broiler chicken only eats about 2.5 times its body weight in feed over its short lifetime, making a synthetic meat that can compete will be a hard task that will most likely take decades.

Re:Revolution in a year (1)

Sun (104778) | about 8 months ago | (#46395119)

Do you have any citation for the taste claim? From what I heard, taste was actually pretty good.

Here's what I have (from wikipedia [wikipedia.org] ):

There is really a bite to it, there is quite some flavour with the browning. I know there is no fat in it so I didn't really know how juicy it would be, but there is quite some intense taste; it's close to meat, it's not that juicy, but the consistency is perfect. This is meat to me... It's really something to bite on and I think the look is quite similar.

Shachar

Re:Revolution in a year (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#46395165)

Do you have any citation for the taste claim? From what I heard, taste was actually pretty good.

No, that's not what you read. The taste was intense, but nothing was said about it being intensely good. The texture was lauded, but the flavor was only mentioned. English is not your strong suit. Don't try to interpret it for us.

Re:Revolution in a year (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 8 months ago | (#46395347)

Vegemite has intense taste!

Re:Revolution in a year (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 8 months ago | (#46395485)

'Bite' usually means an acidic or sour taste. That is not something most people are looking for in hamburger. Add in the fact that it has an 'intense' flavor and I don't see how you could say it was good.

Re:Revolution in a year (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46395009)

I think they should eat crow

Re:Revolution in a year (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 8 months ago | (#46395755)

It mentioned in the sublinked article [sciencemag.org] that PETA had actually provided for a research fellowship. That involves actually giving out money to promote research. A two pronged approach seems reasonable in theory: give money directly to research, but dangle a prize out there to attract attention to the goal and attract more money than you would have directly.

Lets be honest, if there's one thing PETA is very effective at, it's PR. If there's another thing PETA is good at, it's getting more money flowing.

Wouldnt want it (1, Interesting)

ruir (2709173) | about 8 months ago | (#46394651)

Who would want it? Die hard long time vegetarians (like me) abhor fake meats as much as real meats - they are disgusting the (almost) the same way. Even fake cheese smells like wet socks... Then everything that matters is price, and I seriously doubt any commercial venture of fake chicken, no matter how good, will be able to compete in price with an inhuman industry that cuts so many corners to be profitable. And even then, where would the eggs come from? PETA is too crazy and bordering fanaticism in my book.

Re:Wouldnt want it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46394663)

Who would want it?

People who are vegetarians because they feel sorry for animals (almost never is related to the taste, feel, or looks of meat). People who, although not vegetarians, would prefer to eat food that doesn't require the death of an animal. So... a few people.

Re:Wouldnt want it (5, Insightful)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | about 8 months ago | (#46394667)

Artificial meat isn't meat for vegetarians, you aren't the target market. It's meant for omnivores. And experience has shown that some will pay extra for perceived ethical improvements, e.g. cage-free eggs vs. battery eggs. People would also be willing to pay some amount more for artificial meat.

Re:Wouldnt want it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46394693)

Artificial meat isn't meat for vegetarians, you aren't the target market. It's meant for omnivores. And experience has shown that some will pay extra for perceived ethical improvements, e.g. cage-free eggs vs. battery eggs. People would also be willing to pay some amount more for artificial meat.

We want Free/Open Source artificial chickens.

Re:Wouldnt want it (1)

khallow (566160) | about 8 months ago | (#46395613)

People would also be willing to pay some amount more for artificial meat.

Some people. And some people, I'd wager much more, would not. After all, there are a number of artificial meat products already in the market. I think that it will take artificial meat being significantly cheaper before it will replace most of the meat from animals market.

Re:Wouldnt want it (1)

markass530 (870112) | about 8 months ago | (#46395833)

I'm pretty sure it's meant mostly for ethical vegetarians and for possible ecological benefits. I'd pay more not to have to eat lab grown meat.

Re:Wouldnt want it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46394671)

Not all vegetarians have your broken taste buds.

Re:Wouldnt want it (5, Funny)

nyctopterus (717502) | about 8 months ago | (#46394687)

What the hell? There are a hell of a lot of vegetarians that don't eat meat for ethical reasons! There are also a lot of meat-eaters, like me, who have a sense of unease about eating animals but can stop because they are so delicious.

Re:Wouldnt want it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46395039)

"can stop"...

An American, no doubt... who actually means "CAN'T stop"...

Rather like your 'could care less'...

Re:Wouldnt want it (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | about 8 months ago | (#46395061)

Or, you know, a typo. If you want to rail against 'could care less'ers, why not go find an actual example?

Re:Wouldnt want it (4, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#46394797)

Who would want it? Die hard long time vegetarians (like me) abhor fake meats as much as real meats - they are disgusting the (almost) the same way.

I'm a vegetarian and I disagree. Some fake meats are bad, particularly the cheap rehydratable variety, but others taste OK. They are not my favourite option but if I eat with non-veg friends and the vegi option is a vegi-burger I will have it and enjoy it.

Re:Wouldnt want it (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about 8 months ago | (#46395635)

I'm a vegetarian and I disagree. Some fake meats are bad, particularly the cheap rehydratable variety, but others taste OK.

I don't think the OP meant 'meat analogues' like soy or what have you. Most vegetarians have learned to deal with those, and some of them are pretty well done.

I think he meant 'fake meat' -- as in vat grown cells of animals which are somehow supposed to be a good thing and which some vegetarians suggest would be OK because there's no animal cruelty involved.

For me, the idea of vat grown animal cells in some industrial version of pink slime meets soylent green elicits an big "ewww", and would not be something I'd ever eat.

Re:Wouldnt want it (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 8 months ago | (#46395221)

I think it'd be far more interesting for a company to start producing lab-grown long pork. That would start the real ethical debates.

Re:Wouldnt want it (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 8 months ago | (#46395359)

I think it'd be far more interesting for a company to start producing lab-grown long pork. That would start the real ethical debates.

You joke, but I can pretty well guarantee that once artifically-produced meat is a reality that someone's going to invent new types of it.

Consider the green ketchup they tried to sell.

Re:Wouldnt want it (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 8 months ago | (#46395451)

Mmmm! Finger-lickin' good! (Especially with green ketchup)

Beyond Meat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46394657)

A commercially available white-meat substitute made from plant proteins. Of course, just because it satisfies the spirit of the prize is no reason to award it...

Placing bets (1)

TimMD909 (260285) | about 8 months ago | (#46394659)

I was always placing my bets on advertising the 5th piece from this: http://www.ted.com/talks/jack_... [ted.com] New slogan: "Gotta love getting some juicy tail at KFC!" Subheader: "For a limited time, get your tail with or without a bone!" Artificial chicken for the foreseeable future is as real as Robot Chicken.

Cat, the other white meat (1)

mendax (114116) | about 8 months ago | (#46394673)

As I sometimes say to my evil black cat when she gets a bit crazy and decides to sink her claws into me, "Cat, the other white meat." So far she hasn't worked.

Re:Cat, the other white meat (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 8 months ago | (#46394801)

Try explaining to your cat what happened, or did not happen, to Schrödinger's Cat.

It might, or might not, work.

Anyway, the UK used to have some artificial food stuff called Turkey Twizzlers that were kinda sorta artificial. But celebrity twat chef Jamie Oliver made a fuss about them, so they got banned from school lunches. Kids seemed to like them with chips (fries), though.

Re:Cat, the other white meat (1)

cyborg_zx (893396) | about 8 months ago | (#46395297)

Anyway, the UK used to have some artificial food stuff called Turkey Twizzlers that were kinda sorta artificial.

I don't think they were artificial in any way - not any more than any other food - they were just made from all the bits of meat swept off the floor at Bernard Matthew's factory and that offended the sensibilities of the do-gooder middle class who are always shocked and appalled at what the working classes eat.

Re:Cat, the other white meat (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 8 months ago | (#46395761)

Or, because they don't think the working classes should be forced to eat the bits of meat swept off the floor of a factory because it's all they can afford.

Because, really: [dailymail.co.uk]

Researchers in Mississippi examined chicken nuggets at two different fast-food chains and found that only about half of the nuggets were made of muscle meat
The rest of the nuggets were made of other chicken parts like fat, blood vessels, nerves, bones and cartilage

that's pretty nasty stuff.

Re:Cat, the other white meat (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 8 months ago | (#46395367)

As I sometimes say to my evil black cat when she gets a bit crazy and decides to sink her claws into me, "Cat, the other white meat." So far she hasn't worked.

(Cat) "Human, the other fish meat."

Ah PETA... (3, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about 8 months ago | (#46394675)

Killing 90% of all the animals they take in while claiming to be an "ethical" organization. [dailymail.co.uk] The sooner the sink into the dustbin of history along with various other wingnut organizations the better.

Re:Ah PETA... (1)

metamarmoset (2728667) | about 8 months ago | (#46395107)

Quoting the daily mail should get you modded down, not up.

The daily mail has a long record [rationalwiki.org] for making up statistics and deliberately misunderstanding facts, so as to push an an agenda which includes anti-animal-welfare.

Also, you seem to have upped the statistics from 84% in one shelter (according to the mail) to 90% for all animals (according to you). Silly you.

Re:Ah PETA... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 8 months ago | (#46395213)

Quoting the daily mail should get you modded down, not up.

A-typical case of "boo hoo, I don't like the source," so I'll throw a fit over it even if it's correct. How odd that there's no shortage of other papers that have reported on exactly the same thing now is there. But don't worry, I didn't up the statistics. Rather I posted a singular story, but didn't directly apply it to one shelter. After all, even you could spend the 30 seconds to use google and find out that I'm still right.

Re:Ah PETA... (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 8 months ago | (#46395379)

Quoting the daily mail should get you modded down, not up.

A-typical case of "boo hoo, I don't like the source," so I'll throw a fit over it even if it's correct. How odd that there's no shortage of other papers that have reported on exactly the same thing now is there. But don't worry, I didn't up the statistics. Rather I posted a singular story, but didn't directly apply it to one shelter. After all, even you could spend the 30 seconds to use google and find out that I'm still right.

The point is, that if there are more credible sources, use them. If a liar salts his lies with occasional truths, that doesn't entitle him to be considered a truthful source.

Re:Ah PETA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46395239)

Quoting the daily mail should get you modded down, not up.

The daily mail has a long record [rationalwiki.org] for making up statistics and deliberately misunderstanding facts, so as to push an an agenda which includes anti-animal-welfare.

Also, you seem to have upped the statistics from 84% in one shelter (according to the mail) to 90% for all animals (according to you). Silly you.

Still he did pretty well for a daily mail reader. He raised it above 84% but knew not to go above 100. It was also still connected with animal euthenasia. Many readers would have come up with something like "they machine gunned 120% of all the people who worked in the shelter".

Re:Ah PETA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46395285)

What is it with you people? Is it totally unimaginable that the pets that ends up at PETA are the un-adoptable ones - the ones that other shelters have turned away? So, in order to fit your very narrow and black-and-white worldview, PETA would have to magically "create" suitable families to adopt the pets. Face it, the world is a dark and hopeless place, and sometimes the most humane way to help is to euthanize. The other option would be for the pet to starve in a ditch somewhere.

Re:Ah PETA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46395457)

You are the one who's unethical. You'd rather left the animals to die by starvation or let them destroy the natural ecosystem.

They got a lot of mileage out of that unspent $1m (5, Interesting)

ReallyEvilCanine (991886) | about 8 months ago | (#46394691)

The prize was bogus to begin with, as explained in this Slate article from 2008 [slate.com] . In short, it wouldn't be paid out unless the contestant was selling a ton of the stuff in stores and restaurants across 10 states over three months... at the same price as real chicken.

Science prizes are supposed to encourage development of things not yet commercially viable; this was a phony small tip for someone already successful. "Phony", because even if someone had the breakthrough needed on the day after this was announced, there's no way in hell that it could be approved for use and on market shelves in time to meet even the extended deadline.

And then there were the contest requirements, including full disclosure of ingredients and methods (trade secrets), carte blanche use of any- and everything related for PeTA's promotional purposes, rules subject to change without notice, and so on.

This was never a serious offer, just serious marketing, something PeTA mastered long ago. This "prize" retraction just got them some more free air time and, no doubt, some new members & donations... saith an older and hopefully wiser former member & supporter.

Re:They got a lot of mileage out of that unspent $ (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#46394753)

it wouldn't be paid out unless the contestant was selling a ton of the stuff in stores and restaurants across 10 states over three months... at the same price as real chicken.

Wow, you're not kidding. If you've got that, you've got revenue much higher than $1million, and are probably readying for a billion dollar IPO.

Yes PETA's prize was always irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46395071)

PETA could best promote artificial meat by simply asking their *major* donors :
"Would you be interested in providing venture capital to an artificial meat startup?"

And they should post a page on artificial meat that says "Any scientists, engineers, or entrepreneurs interested in developing artificial meat should contact PETA representative [NAME & EMAIL] to be introduced to venture capitalists with similar desires."

Just introducing a couple rich guys who hate animal cruelty and a few scientists working on the problem will accomplish more than any prize.

Re:Yes PETA's prize was always irrelevant (1)

khallow (566160) | about 8 months ago | (#46395595)

Just introducing a couple rich guys who hate animal cruelty and a few scientists working on the problem will accomplish more than any prize.

Depends how big the prize is and what those people end up doing. Also, I'd have to favor the results-oriented reward over the process-oriented reward.

Re:They got a lot of mileage out of that unspent $ (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#46394831)

Alternatively, they genuinely thought we had a meat replacement ready to go and were just refusing to use it out of pettiness or evil. Given the way PETA talk about their ideological opponents it seems alarmingly plausible to me.

Why, oh why ? (4, Insightful)

alexhs (877055) | about 8 months ago | (#46394719)

Aren't chicken nuggets artificial enough already ?

Re:Why, oh why ? (4, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | about 8 months ago | (#46394787)

*may have once been in close proximity to a real dead chicken.

Re:Why, oh why ? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 8 months ago | (#46395829)

Oh, it's made from '100% real chicken'. It's just not "meat" in any sense most of us would recognize.

You take all the leftover parts, puree them, add fillers and binders, stick 'em back together -- it's just the parts of the chicken with little or no nutritional value.

They can still call it chicken, and it isn't artificial. But if someone gave you a pile of what it really is (either before or after they grind it up), you sure wouldn't eat it.

impossible (1)

confused one (671304) | about 8 months ago | (#46394747)

impossible deadline to create something which will be entirely too expensive to manufacture and will have a very limited market given the price of a real chicken is only a few dollars.

Damn those evil PETA people (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46394749)

How dare they expose what really happens to the animals you eat... they're evil, just evil. And hypocrite too.

(There, that lets me off the hook, now I can go back to paying people to torture and kill animals so I can eat them, and convince myself I'm a 'good' person...)

Fun exercise (1, Troll)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#46394761)

Find some vegetarian, and ask them if they would eat meat if it came from artificial means. If they're the type that doesn't eat meat because they feel sorry for animals, they will get a really confused look on their face, say, "well, uh......" and say something very entertaining and random. That's not something they think about normally.

Re:Fun exercise (5, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#46394811)

Find some vegetarian, and ask them if they would eat meat if it came from artificial means. If they're the type that doesn't eat meat because they feel sorry for animals, they will get a really confused look on their face, say, "well, uh......" and say something very entertaining and random. That's not something they think about normally.

There are all sorts of motivations - environmental, concern for animals, religious, or ethical based on a relative valuation of animal lives that differs from the norm. All will have different reactions to this. Some may also have a yuck factor - just the same as many carnivores would have if offered a meal of cultured human tissue - and may say that though logically they can't object, they wouldn't want to try it.

Re:Fun exercise (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#46394899)

Wouldn't a human being who was a carnivore fall down dead from malnutrition pretty quickly? Everyone I know is an omnivore.

Re:Fun exercise (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#46394915)

Wouldn't a human being who was a carnivore fall down dead from malnutrition pretty quickly? Everyone I know is an omnivore.

Yes I meant omnivore - though on the carnivore question I don't know. I believe Inuits were traditionally carnivores for most of the year, so I don't think you would suffer from malnutrition quickly, if you ever would.

Re:Fun exercise (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#46394947)

Well now I'm clearly going to have to spend all afternoon looking up how the Inuit diet works, physiologically.

Re:Fun exercise (2)

Chrisq (894406) | about 8 months ago | (#46395481)

Well now I'm clearly going to have to spend all afternoon looking up how the Inuit diet works, physiologically.

I've had a look too and some sites seem to say that to thrive on a carnivorous diet the chewing of raw blubber was essential as some vitamins degrade when cooked.

Re:Fun exercise (2)

swb (14022) | about 8 months ago | (#46395301)

Inuit diets were up to 90% fat. High protein, low-fat diets are associated with "rabbit starvation", a phrase derived from a phenomenon of hunter-gatherers only being able to obtain rabbit meat and eating until they were distended but still being hungry due to inadequate fat consumption.

Gary Taubes writes about an experiment run in the 1920s where two men ate an all-meat diet. About the only consequence they could find from this was that one man's gingivitis cleared up.

He also writes about an anthropological study that found no "stone age" diets that were vegetarian, most were very high in animal protein and fat.

It's believed that prior to organized agriculture (which is very recent in terms of human history) that humans diets were dominated by meat eating. Outside of the tropics, native plants and fruits are seasonal and have a limited natural availability.

Re:Fun exercise (2)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about 8 months ago | (#46395245)

There was research into whether carbs were "essential"; that is, if the human body could not synthesize anything it needed instead of getting it from carbs. The result - carbs are NOT essential. You can get everything you need from being a carnivore. I can't find the paper right now, but it was written a long time ago by a doc that put people on different diets for 30+ days to find out what was/wasn't essential.

Re:Fun exercise (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 8 months ago | (#46394957)

I'm pretty sure one of the senior scientists in last year's artificial burger project was involved exactly because he was a vegetarian who wanted to eat artificial meat.

Re:Fun exercise (2)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 8 months ago | (#46395327)

That's an interesting question as it will separate vegetarians into different groups according to their reasons for eating vegetarian. A lot of people assume that vegetarians are a single group with a shared set of beliefs and aims, but that's not the case at all. I'm a pescetarian (vegetarian with fish) for a whole bunch of reasons: health, resource usage, mistrust of modern animal husbandry etc.

Animal welfare is not a major concern for me (although I like animals and abhor cruelty), but I think I would abstain from lab-grown meat as I'm not convinced that it would necessarily be a healthy addition to my diet. I'd wait until there were some positive reasons to eat lab-grown meat as I'm not convinced that it would be anything other than a rich-person's food and thus not sustainable world-wide.

Efficency? (3, Interesting)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 8 months ago | (#46394773)

I have trouble believing artificial meat would be remotely competitive in terms of nutrients use and various supporting chemical agents, energy inputs, costs of installation, maintenance and even the need for an artificial immunological system.

Chicken are incredibly efficient, and their eggs are even more efficient, this is reflected in the low price of the meat and eggs. Yeah I've had a philosophy that when fossil fuels aren't directly involved, cheaper is mostly synonymous with ecological.
It's possible that successful artificial meat on a massive scale would lead to more resource depletion and more global warming, in my mind. It would perhaps create incredibly resistant, "superbug" viruses or bacteria. I'm not terribly concerned with killing chicken in that scheme.

What certainly could be done is regulation to give way more space for the hen / chicken, small tariff on imports from countries that don't have a strong enough regulation yet. Yes, regulations, I hope that doesn't sound too evil and bureaucratic (weird how digiliently global regulations on IP are made up and applied yet libertarian corporate overlords don't bitch about them).

Re:Efficency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46394857)

Well, we don't know what technologies the future holds. That's the point. Sure, with our current knowledge, we have trouble believing that these ideas are viable, but that's usually true of any inventions or discoveries that are even moderately impressive.

weird how digiliently global regulations on IP are made up and applied yet libertarian corporate overlords don't bitch about them

Libertarian corporate overlords largely don't exist. Corporate overlords mostly just do and say anything that will benefit them, and it just so happens that they like pretending to be conservative/libertarian/whatever. Of course, as you pointed out, their support of imaginary property reveals them for the hypocrites they are.

Re:Efficency? (2)

Alejux (2800513) | about 8 months ago | (#46395191)

First of all, what may be expensive now, could be much cheaper than actually raising chickens in a few decades. It's just a matter of perfecting the methods of mass production. Second of all, you missed the whole point of making artificial chickens, which is to avoid cruelty. 99% of the chickens consumed in the world are not happy chickens that roam around free in their pens, but rather they're raised their entire lives in little cubicles. This type of cruelty will no longer be needed if we're able to just grow their meat.

Just like the Proof of Evolution prizes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46394807)

Too many restrictions and additional requirements. PETA made a big deal of no one doing it after making quite sure that it could not be done within their own parameters. And it seems that just in case, they threw in a 'requirements subject to change' clause?

And I thought PETA stood for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46394835)

And I thought PETA stood for Please Eat The Animals

Fuck PETA (0)

Opportunist (166417) | about 8 months ago | (#46394873)

If animals were not meant to be eaten they wouldn't be so damn tasty.

Re:Fuck PETA (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#46395169)

PEOPLE EATING TASTY ANIMALS

Fuck domain-stealing PETA. Fuck them right in their thieving, lying asses. #neverforget :p

OMG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46395589)

OMG, ya'll are so funny, it's like no one ever said that before in every single conversation where vegetarian comes up. It's like it's not one of the literal first defensive things to say because you feel guilty that someone else can do something you obviously can't. Har har...you're such a real big guffaw inducing blastoma.

Better use for money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46395015)

Maybe they found a better use for the money? Like starting wars and helping people kill each other?

Tyson (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about 8 months ago | (#46395035)

Tyson has the artificial chicken market cornered. Seriously, try cooking up one of their birds and see if it actually taste like chicken. They are the reason why brining and marinating has become necessary before you can consume breast meat.

A million bucks? (1)

Chas (5144) | about 8 months ago | (#46395077)

Well, yeah. Not that I'm sure a million bucks wouldn't be useful to SOMEONE.

But for the kinds of heavy-duty R&D and vetting required for food products? That's a drop in the bucket.

Quorn (2)

DrXym (126579) | about 8 months ago | (#46395127)

If you want a chicken like texture then eat quorn. It tastes remarkably close and has a similar texture. It's not so good as a substitute for other kinds of meat though. Not that I have any qualms about eating meat but some vegetarian alternatives are quite nice in their own right and just for a bit of variety.

Re:Quorn (1)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 8 months ago | (#46395167)

Quorn is fine just so long as you're not violently allergic to it [huffingtonpost.com] and realise that it's artificially fortified because it is naturally low on vitamins and minerals.

Re:Quorn (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 8 months ago | (#46395265)

People are violently allergic to lots of things. People are allergic to soy too. I'm not sure how it matters for people who are NOT allergic and a casual reading of the evidence suggests that the CSPI is vastly inflating the risk possibly due to a conflict of interest.

Peanuts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46395689)

Where's your giant warning about peanuts, coconuts, insert x here? Seems like you contributed just to see your own words on the screen, because that's such a useless comment. I don't see mom's up in arms over fortified cereals or milk which has been fortified with vitamin D. Stop being such an uninformed industry shill.

hhah (1)

MrShaggy (683273) | about 8 months ago | (#46395247)

Mock Bock??

Why the prize went unclaimed. The true story. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 months ago | (#46395341)

This is the true reason the prize went unclaimed: A lonely researcher from a poor religiously vegetarian family from the South Indian town of Saivakkadu developed such a chicken and was about to claim the prize. But Tyson food spies found out about it, bought the invention from the inventor by out bidding PETA and have rolled the process into production some three years ago. Suddenly all those animal cruelty sneak videos from the chicken farms reduced greatly in volume. Coincidence? I think not. Tyson finds it far more profitable to peddle vegetarian lab grown petri dish meat as the real thing instead of selling it to wimpy vegetarians susceptible to temptation as ethical meat. Look how uniform all those chicken legs and thighs packed in plastic. Nature is going to be that uniform?

Think about it people. Lab meat is here. On your table. Already.

The poet said it best: (1)

grunter (35840) | about 8 months ago | (#46395401)

"Man has never really built a decent chicken" - Kehlog Albran, The Profit

Already There (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 8 months ago | (#46395411)

The chickens they mass produce today are artificial. They're so full of synthetic hormones and other chemicals they grow to 5 pounds or more in 6 weeks. I used to raise chickens when I was a kid and the average chicken breast in the store today weighs almost as much as an entire fryer from my flock used to. It's incredible. I flipped through a poultry catalog and they have things like "brandX." BrandX has to have special supplements in it's feed so their legs don't break because they weigh too much too fast for their bone structure.

PETA is not the org to award this prize (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 8 months ago | (#46395703)

You can bet that as soon as some inventor hands a plate of vat-grown chicken to PETA and claims the prize, that PETA's general membership will turn it down as being "artificial." The foodies will spurn it for the same reason, no matter how good the taste becomes, and will have loads of fun ridiculing it in the fashion-magazine columns and on their obscure little cable channels.

  When such meats are made, they will appeal to people who are concerned specifically about the ethics of factory farming, and will probably win some of these folks back from vegetarianism. But PETA, no.

Try McDonald's (1)

slapout (93640) | about 8 months ago | (#46395789)

Have they talked to fast food companies? I'm pretty sure some of the stuff they sell isn't really meat.

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